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Understanding Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Because different types of leukemia cells behave differently, they require different types of treatment. Leukemia is considered to be either acute or chronic, depending upon how fast the cells grow without therapy. And it's either lymphocytic or myeloid, depending upon the type of white blood cell that has turned into leukemia. By looking at these factors, most cases of leukemia can be classified into one of four main types of leukemia. Acute myeloid leukemia is one of these types. It's a rapidly growing type.

Types of leukemia

Here are various types of leukemia. The first four are the most common:

  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)

  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)

  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

  • Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)

  • Hairy cell leukemia

  • Plasma cell leukemia

  • Prolymphocytic leukemia

  • Leukemic phase of lymphoma

More about AML

AML is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes abnormal myeloblasts. They do not mature into healthy white blood cells. AML may also make abnormal early forms of red blood cells or cells that make platelets.

AML is the second most common form of leukemia in adults. Your risk for getting this type of leukemia increases as you get older. If you've had therapy for other types of cancer, you may develop AML as a late side effect. It is a very aggressive cancer if left untreated. But if treated with chemotherapy right away, doctors can cure some types of AML, especially in people who are younger.

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